Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The problem with nuclear power

I am someone that believe in nuclear power as a safe and environmentally friendly power source. I could go into detail about why it is Eco friendly and safe but today I prefer to go into the problem of nuclear power and our society. As the accidents in Japan illustrate, nuclear power has risk for the environment. These risk can be minimised or even almost completely removed with an easy step: vigilance. If we keep watch on our installation and do not let any problem go unreported, nuclear power will be safe. However while this happen for the first few years after the establishment of the nuclear power plan our human nature makes us forget our vigilance when nothing happens. Add to that our society idea that profits must always increase we get a combination that can be deadly.

Not to mention that our installation are now facing a crisis, most of them where planed into the 50s and where quite safe, but hard radiation does unpredictable harm to substance (basically tearing them apart at the atomic level if you will) and heavy overhaul must be done in most of the power plan around the world. However, environmental "concern" and public fear of nuclear power (strangely weak in Japan) delay or get those repair cancel with promises that the power plan might be turned off. However growing energy needs and concern in other area of the environmental debate force those power plan to remain operational. The problem is that the longer we keep a power plan in service without modernising it a lot the greater the risk something goes wrong... dangerously wrong.

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